Dinner honors lives lost, begun during Dec. 7 attacks
By Tech. Sgt. James Stewart, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces
/ Published December 07, 2016
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --
Hundreds of U.S. Airmen, spouses and friends joined the Hickam Historical Society at the Hickam Historic Officer’s Club for a remembrance dinner, Dec. 6, 2016, honoring 10 survivors and those lost during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Hickam field.
The dinner, part of an island-wide joint commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Oahu, centered on the theme “Honor our Heroes.”
“We value the warriors we lost here and tonight we gather to celebrate under the moonlit sky and swaying palm trees, much like they did right here, on this lanai, on Dec. 6, 1941,” said Jessie Higa, the societies’ co-founder. “Tomorrow will be different. It will be that somber moment because Dec. 7 is not just about honoring our survivors, it’s to remember the dead.”
In her comments, Higa asked each attendee to carry the torch of remembrance and pass onto the next generation the honor and respect for how Dec. 7 altered our nation forever.
Among the guests were David Burpee and Stan Loer, both born Dec. 7, 1941, just after the attacks.
Loer said coming back to celebrate both their 75th birthday and the anniversary is surreal.
“I don’t even know how to explain it. For years growing up it was hard to connect with what happened here. My recollection of everything is third-hand. But being here now, even 75 years later, it’s a feeling I can hardly explain.”
Burpee, who retired as a U.S. Army colonel, said for him the night is about remembrance. “The real significance is about what happened here 75 years ago. It’s really an honor to remember the people and the sacrifices that occurred here.”
The evening included an era-specific show by the USO Show Troupe who performed a number of songs and dances from the early 1940s.
For more information on upcoming 75th Commemoration of the Attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu events visit: https://pearlharbor75thanniversary.com/full-schedule-of-events/island-wide.